For decades, I’ve heard of the Brimfield Antique Show. I’ve read all about it. I’ve studied the details of the photos in Country Living magazine. And for the last six years, I’ve lived less than two hours from Brimfield, but I still hadn’t gone. This was the year to change that. So, Colette and I made plans to go to Brimfield together.
The Brimfield Antique Show is the ultimate in antique shows! For five days, three times a year (May, July, and September), antique vendors pour into the tiny town of Brimfield, Massachusetts and set up their tents along a mile-long stretch of farmers’ fields. And not just lining the road, but stretching off into each field too.
Prior to going, I read some tips online on “how to survive Brimfield”. Get there early. Traffic would be bad (“…an 8-mile back-up…”). I was up at 4 a.m., and we were out the door just after 5:00 We were happy to encounter no traffic whatsoever, and arrived in Brimfield at 7:00. We parked in the first available lot, which was really the grounds of an early 19th century house. Collecting the $5/day fee was a family affair, and the young man instructed us to “park in the cellar hole”. In the cellar hole? I followed the path in the way he directed, and it led us right to the largest cellar I could’ve imagined. I inquired of another family member, and was confirmed that this “cellar hole” used to be the lower part of the original barn. If you look closely, just in front of the tree in the cellar hole is a capped well. Clever farmer with a well inside his barn.
Tote bags, healthy snacks, camera, and cash in hand, we began our Brimfield adventure! Yes, those are tents as far as the eye can see.
I had been casually looking for certain antique pieces for a while now, and would’ve been happy to find just one thing on my list:
- umbrella stand for the entry
- dough bowl
- mahogany sideboard for the formal dining room
- mahogany dining room set
- small oil painting of a New England scene for the entry
- large crock
- parson’s bench for the stair landing
- gold mirror for the formal dining room (clearly, I’m working on that room)
- wool blankets in autumn colors
All the treasures of Brimfield awaited! I couldn’t wait to see what I might find!
We shopped and we shopped…or mostly browsed and browsed. Colette bought a fine wool blanket (navy, hunter green, and red) almost immediately. But I kept looking and looking.
After several hours of walking and hunting, we came upon doughnuts. And not just your average doughnut. These were made right there, and they traveled up a little conveyor belt and plopped off into a bowl at the end. They were quickly rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Apple Cider Cinnamon Doughnuts. Oh my! I must say that this was THE BEST doughnut I’ve ever had. So moist, like a delicious apple cake!
Fortified by doughnuts, we resumed our hunt for whatever might catch our eye. Here’s a glimpse at all the amazing finds at Brimfield…
Jadite loving Colette paused and admired these lovely pieces.
Probably my favorite unique piece of the day:
Well, we hunted and hunted. Truthfully, I think I was a bit dazzled by the array of choices. So dazzled that I couldn’t seem to make a decision about anything I saw. Should I go back and get the beautiful purple flowering topiary? Should I snap up one of those large glass floats for the front flower bed? I just couldn’t decide, which is quite unlike me. After four hours of wandering, we decided to leave. My only purchase was a small step stool for the grandkids to use in the downstairs’ bathroom.
Feeling a bit discouraged, we headed for home. The road from Brimfield winds through Sturbridge, Massachusetts. And there, on a whim, I pulled into the parking lot of this antique store.
And there, after all that hunting at Brimfield, I found a treasure! I found a mahogany sideboard! I was so pleased not to go home quite so empty-handed. Time for a delicious lunch at the Sturbridge Inn Coffee House. Whew! Food tasted so good after a morning of walking in the fresh air.
Absolutely thrilled with how the new sideboard looks in the dining room!
And the little stool has found a home too.
Now that I know what to expect from Brimfield, it is definitely on my annual list of go-to events in New England. Next time I will wear a hat. And next time, I won’t come with any specific list, but simply purchase what strikes my fancy at the time.